Individual zebra finches vary their immune response to balance the costs, depending on sex, age and the environment. When changing from nest-bound juveniles to adults, female immune responses matured slowly while males who were molting into colorful plumage showed dramatic variation. Adult males showed little variation. When females laid eggs with high-quality resources, immune responses similar to nonbreeding females and for males. However, when laying eggs on reduced resources, females reduced their immune response.
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